Hey gang! Another week, another Weekly Balance. Let’s have a look back at the past seven days in my life and what I’ve learnt from it.
What went on in my doctor life…
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, I’m going to leave out this section of The Weekly Balance for now. I can’t share the specifics of my day to day work – its not appropriate for many reasons, but confidentiality is the main one. I would also guess that many of you, like me, enjoy taking time to switch off from all things pandemic, and I hope these weekly posts might help with that a little. I hope you guys can understand that, and thank you! I am continuing to share COVID-19 update posts on my Instagram at least once per week – you can check those out here.
What I’m thinking about…
Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, and it got me thinking. I thought about what I wanted to say to mark this day of awareness for mental health. It has been perhaps the most trying year ever for our mental health. There isn’t much I can say to improve the situation we are in. But what I can do is tell you the mental health lesson I have learnt these past two years. This time two years ago, I was a couple of weeks into my Masters, and I was healing a broken heart. Heartbreak is something that many of us go through in life, for many reasons – and it’s an ache, a pain, that is hard to describe and impossible to forget. I’ll be honest and say I totally lost my spark around then. Everything was blunted – how I felt, what usually gave me joy, or made me smile. Like a light switch inside suddenly flipped off.
Over time, the light began to glow again, and slowly came back, because of a couple of things. One, a lot of talking, to family and close friends. Cups of tea, mugs of coffee, belly laughs, a problem shared to cut the burden in half. I know it is said all the time, but having someone to talk to, whether that’s a peer or a professional, can be an incredible support for someone struggling with their mental health. It can be the difference between despair and hope, between today and tomorrow.
So don’t forget to check in on those you love and care for, and check in with yourself. Ask how they are. Look inward and ask yourself how YOU are too. Kindness should extend to you as well – treat others as you would wish to be treated yes, but also treat yourself as you would want others to treat you. With kindness. With compassion. With warmth. With respect. And remember – you’ve made it this far in 2020, a year we would never have thought we could get through – that means you’re stronger than you ever thought possible.
There is always someone who can listen and lend an ear. Family, friends. Professionals. Organisations like the Samaritans, Pieta House, our health services, and charities like A Lust For Life and Mental Health Ireland.
You are not alone.
What I’m reading…
I was VERY excited to read Failosophy by author, journalist and podcast host Elizabeth Day – and when I say excited, I mean I was counting down to the launch! Elizabeth Day’s podcast, How To Fail With Elizabeth Day, is one of my absolute favourites, and her book, How To Fail, is one of the best I read last year. Day’s podcast is all about failure, seeing failures not as shortcomings, but, in her own words, ‘a lesson wrapped up in a mistake.’ Failosophy is dubbed a handbook for when things go wrong, and it is a short book, which described the ‘seven failure principles’ Day has developed from her years of interviewing others on her podcast about their failures – including authors, chefs, reality TV stars, politicians, actors, musicians, writers, and more. The book also has many quotes from these interviews dotted throughout, and I have to say it really is like having a good friend sit on your shoulder and remind you that failure is not final. Every single one of the seven failure principles spoke to me on different levels, and I won’t spoil the book for you by telling you what they are! But this is a handbook you’ll want to have, to revert back to time and time again, when you need a reminder that we all fail, and when we understand failure and learn from it, it can teach us things we might never have learnt otherwise.
As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below! My current read is The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne.
What I’m listening to…
The funniest and most intriguing podcast I listened to this week was an episode called ‘Rumour Has It’ on the Where Is My Mind podcast by Niall Breslin. It begins with a rumour about Breslin himself, and I’ll be impressed if you can keep a straight face while listening to it! But from there, it takes a deep dive into the concept of rumours, and I was absolutely hooked – well worth checking out.
I also loved the latest episode of the How To Fail With Elizabeth Day podcast, which was an interview with Nadiya Hussain, who some of you might remember as the winner of the sixth series of the Great British Bake Off, and who is also an author and TV presenter. It’s an inspiring and warm listen – Hussain’s honesty is so refreshing and her humour makes the episode a fun listen too.
What I’m watching…
I absolutely devoured the Netflix series Emily In Paris this week, of which there is only one season so far. It’s total escapism – a story about a young woman from Chicago who works for a marketing company, and who is transferred to their Paris branch to work there. It’s full of fun, fashion, (predictable, but no less lovely) romance, and humour, and it also has me counting down the days until I can travel and visit Paris again!
I also watched the film Enola Holmes on Netflix, and really enjoyed this one too – not least because Henry Cavill is in it as Sherlock Holmes! Celebrity crushes aside, it’s a fast-paced and exciting watch, also a good dose of escapism, and full of famous faces too.
Recipe of the Week
The recipe I’m loving this week is my Creamy Chickpea and Mushroom Stew – a quick dinner recipe favourite for me, with a good few veggies packed in there too! You can find the recipe here.
And that’s a wrap for this week gang! If you want to get in touch, you can find me @theirishbalance on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I hope you have a lovely week ahead folks – remember, stay informed with the advice from your local health authority, stay safe, wash your hands, keep your distance and be kind!